Fraudulent contracting of work: Bogus self-employment (Czech Republic, Spain and UK)

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Across European countries, the ‘employment contract’ has been, and still is, the point of reference for determining the rights and obligations of both workers and employers. When direct subordinated employment is disguised as self-employment, it is termed ‘bogus’. Work can be contracted in several different ways. The main distinction remains the one between ‘employment’ and ‘self-employment’: this is a prominent feature in all European legal systems, built around the concepts of ‘subordination’ and ‘autonomy’. Contracting work can therefore be done in one of two ways: through a commercial relationship/contract, between one client and a self-employed person or entrepreneur; or through a labour contract, between an employer and a worker/employee. The distinction is fundamental, relating as it does to the different regulations, principles and rights that apply to employees and self-employed individuals.

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